Five Questions to Ask Before Adopting a Time-Clock App

Five Questions to Ask Before Adopting a Time-Clock App

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Transparency is important. Not only does it often translate to highly productive and effective organizations, but it also builds trust with supervisors and employees. Creating a transparent work environment may be harder for some organizations depending on the industry and the nature of the work. What if your employees work off-site or in multiple locations? Is transparency and visibility between supervisors and employees still possible? If you are asking yourself these questions, a mobile time-clock solution may be the answer. Is it time for your organization to adopt a time-clock app? Here is a list of five questions to consider when deciding if this is the best solution for your company.

Mobile-time clocks create transparency with off-site employees

1. Do you have off-site employees?

If your employees work off-site, mobility is key to gaining transparency in your organization. This is because employees can perform the following functions wherever they are on their own mobile devices:

  • Clock in for day
  • Start a Job
  • Clock out for break
  • See what Job/Task to work on next
  • View their timecard
  • View their PTO
  • Clock out for day

In turn, mobile time-clock apps allow supervisors to gain visibility as well. As a supervisor, you can see what Jobs are being worked on—plus when and where they are happening. With transactional geotracking, supervisors can pull up a map on their mobile device to ensure employees are where they should be when clocked in. Some employees may worry about being tracked when off the clock. It is important to note that with most time-clock apps, geotracking must be activated to function and is only enabled when performing the punch and using the system. Thus, GPS capabilities are no longer active when employees clock out for the day.

2. Are your worksites in multiple locations?

If you have employees all over the city, state, or even country, mobile time-clock apps allow you—as a supervisor—to gain visibility in every location. You can keep track of each employee—no matter where they are located and when they are performing transactions within the system. There’s no need to spend time traveling to each job site or playing phone tag with other supervisors. Easily pull out your mobile device and open the map to be sure everyone is where they need to be.

See where your employees are while they are working off-site

3. Do your employees need access to documentation while working off-site?

Whether it’s blueprints, job travelers, or images, the ability to access documentation while on the job is crucial. Several mobile time-tracking apps allow supervisors and employees to attach any type of documentation they need while off-site. While it’s possible to have paper copies of these materials, they can easily get lost or damaged. Plus, when all documentation is in one system, it creates a more structured organization. This results in increased transparency between employers and employees; everyone is on the same page with the same information needed to complete the Job.

Employees can easily upload documentation with time-tracking apps

4. Do you keep track of employees’ time spent on Jobs?

Compare employee performance based on productivity levels

Many supervisors get job visibility by monitoring employee performance. When employees are working off-site, this gets a bit complicated. When supervisors track time on Jobs, they see exactly how much time employees spend working on Jobs compared to the amount of time they have been clocked in. With mobile time-tracking solutions, like riteTIME, supervisors can even compare employee performance based on productivity levels to better understand where time is being spent. Moreover, mobile time-tracking apps help your front office save time and get more visibility. Once supervisors review, edit, and approve employee time cards, that data can be quickly shared with the front office for payroll processing. There’s no need to spend time tracking down timecards to submit to payroll. This creates more seamless collaboration between off-site and front-office employees.

5. Do you want to improve your employee productivity and keep them accountable?

Mobile time clocks with transaction geotracking not only hold employees accountable but also help increase employee productivity. Maybe your off-site employees are spending too much time on a Task. This can affect your bottom line. Instead of assuming what could be happening, mobile time-clock apps allow supervisors to truly identify potential issues and brainstorm how they can be resolved. Plus, employees will most likely be more motivated to put in great work when they know their time is being tracked.

If you answered ‘yes’ to at least half of these questions, you may want to explore mobile time-clock apps even further. While this option may not be for every organization, it can surely help some gain the transparency they need to increase productivity and efficiency when working off-site. After all, trust between employers and employees is crucial for a successful organization. If you would like to learn how to track time for your off-site team, we’re here to help.

Have questions about the blog?

Our sales & implementation specialists are experts in the field and would love to help you. Contact us to learn more!

Want to save time on Job scheduling?

Want to save time on Job scheduling?
Learn the pros and cons of three common scheduling methods.

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Job scheduling—whether you like it or not—is one of the most important business functions. It should be a simple process for everyone involved; however, supervisors often waste hours and hours of time on it. That’s because the coordination of people and jobs is just the tip of the iceberg. Customer order changes, priority shifts, machine breakdowns, and rework are other important factors to consider when it comes to scheduling jobs in the manufacturing world. So, how can you stop wasting time telling people what to work on and make time for the work that matters? Let’s break down three common scheduling methods.

When thinking about a scheduling method, consider your organization’s needs. Some factors to consider are the size of your business, the number of employees, the complexity of your scheduling needs, the training required, and your budget.

Spreadsheets

Pros

  • Low cost
  • Minimal training
  • Transportable work order

Cons

  • Manual process
  • Time consuming
  • Error prone
  • Slow response times
  • Easy to misplace or lose
  • Requires constant updating and administration 

 

Pros

Spreadsheets may be the best option if your organization is small with rather simple scheduling needs, as they can provide a basic way to schedule employees’ Jobs and Tasks. Microsoft Excel has downloadable free or paid templates to help streamline your scheduling process. Additionally, Microsoft Excel even has forecasting templates with the capability to list the planned finished date and time plus the expected time to complete each Job and Task. You can also import employee and Job data into Excel instead of doing it manually.

Cons

While spreadsheets may be the right option for some organizations, they have quite a few shortcomings. Scheduling Jobs through Excel is a static process without the ability to adjust in real time. What if there is a change in Job priorities, supply chain shortages, or a part doesn’t arrive? These factors greatly affect what the team works on, and supervisors must constantly be editing schedules and sending team members updated versions.

Paper Work Orders

Paper work orders can be a timely and manual process when scheduling employees

Pros

  • Low cost
  • Minimal training
  • Easily transportable
  • Don’t need internet access

Cons

  • Easily lost or damaged
  • Prone to human error
  • Manual process
  • Time consuming

Pros

Paper work orders are commonly used in the maintenance, construction, and manufacturing industries. Supervisors distribute paper work orders and team members rely on their verbal or written instructions to tell them when to work on jobs. This process can be beneficial for organizations with employees working off-site since they are easily transportable. Employees can attach them to a clipboard, tuck them in a folder, or even fold them in their pocket. In addition, paper work orders are great for employees who work off-site in rough environments with limited connection to the internet.

Cons

Paper work orders also have limitations that must be taken into account. To begin, they can be easily lost, damaged, or misfiled. If this happens, employees waste even more time trying to locate them if there are no back-up copies. Next, information can be difficult to interpret. Whether it’s misspellings, poor penmanship, or mislabeling, this greatly affects the accuracy of the Job being performed. Last, paper work orders are often a slow manual process, resulting in hours and hours of wasted time.

Job Scheduling Software

Job scheduling software allows you to easily schedule employees

Pros

  • Easy to use and update
  • Accessible on any device with a browser
  • Automatic work order generation and history log
  • Access to real-time information
  • Capability to adjust Job priorities and assignments

Cons

  • Higher initial cost
  • Training required

Cons

Organizations that have more complex scheduling needs often find that Job scheduling software or a mobile app is the solution for them. While a software solution may have a higher initial cost and requires more initial training compared to the two former options, the return on investment makes it easily justifiable.

Pros

Many job scheduling software solutions—such as riteTIME—allow you to easily schedule employees through drag and drop functionality. With just a click of a mouse, you can schedule—and prioritize—Jobs or Tasks by days, users, or departments. This allows for easy schedule set up, saving you loads of time.

There is no doubt that supervisors must be flexible when production changes arise. Job scheduling software allows you to assign or reassign team members in real time. In turn, you won’t have to waste time editing and resending spreadsheets or paper work orders in order to communicate to your team what to work on and when.

Many scheduling software solutions run on any mobile device with an internet browser. Therefore, team members can see the jobs they’re scheduled for on their mobile devices if there is access to the internet.

When it comes to choosing the best Job scheduling solution for you, think about your distinct business needs. Do your research and keep your organization’s goals in mind. If transitioning to an automated solution and going paperless seems daunting, consider taking baby steps to reach your end goal. One option is to continue to use paper work orders to communicate necessary Job information but use software to schedule and track time on Jobs and tasks. 

Ready to stop wasting time? Consider Job scheduling and time tracking software.

Have questions about the blog?

Our sales & implementation specialists are experts in the field and would love to help you. Contact us to learn more!

Year in Review: riteSOFT’s Favorite Moments of 2021

YEAR IN REVIEW: FAVORITE MOMENTS OF 2021

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Happy Holidays from our team to yours! 

It’s safe to say that 2021 left us with some memorable moments: some good, some bad, and some we’d prefer to just forget. Despite the challenging hurdles of the year, we are proud to say that we have maintained our collaborative culture at riteSOFT. We’re constantly brainstorming creative ways to maintain social interactions through online meetings and virtual social events. Our Monday morning team meetings not only spark insightful conversations but allow us to have a bit of fun with clever team-building games.  

In honor of these memorable moments of 2021we’re sharing our five favorites. We hope you enjoy and learn from them! 

riteSOFT Team

5. We Participated in our 6th Annual Ditch Cleanup 

The riteSOFT team participated in the annual ditch cleanup through the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s Adopt a Highway program. Since 2015, we have adopted a two-mile strip of Highway 23 in Waite Park, Minnesota. To increase the fun, we competed on who could find the most unusual piece of trash. Several masks, bottles, and cigarette packs were collected; however, the most unusual item was a 1934 $5.00 Silver Certificate. Collectively, 14 riteSOFT employees picked up 62 bags of trash from the roadway ditches during a 3-hour period. Team building through ditch cleanup? You heard that right! 

riteSOFT team at ditch cleanup

4. New Faces on Board

riteSOFT welcomed three new team members this year! Our development team was excited to welcome two new software developers, Nate Esplan and Andy Rothstein. Additionally, we hired a Digital Marketing Specialist on our marketing team, Maree Smith. We are thrilled to have them join our growing, collaborative team! 

3. We Attended SYSPRO’s PartnerUP Sales Event 

riteSOFT attended SYSPRO’s 2021 PartnerUP sales event to highlight the development of the next generation of riteSCAN to SYSPRO partners. The event was held at SYSPRO’s new state-of-the-art USA headquarters in Tustin, California. The event not only portrayed positive energy and our enhanced collaborative teamwork, but SYSPRO also revealed some exciting changes taking place involving their global ISV (Independent Software Vendor) program. 

SYSPRO Conference

2. We Introduced New and Improved Enhancements to riteTIME

riteSOFT’s time tracking solution, riteTIME, added several new development enhancements including visual scheduling, geo tracking, and an Android mobile app. Visual Scheduling allows supervisors to easily schedule employees to jobs in a user-friendly drag-and-drop format. Additionally, supervisors can now see the location of employees when they are performing transactions off-site while using riteTIME’s geo tracking feature. This increased mobility is especially beneficial for companies with employees who work off-site. Stay tuned for the launch of the riteTIME iOS app in 2022! 

Supervisors will have visibility to know how team members' time is being used

1. We are Ready to Launch the New riteSCAN 8 on January 5th  

We’ve been preparing all year and it’s almost here! We’re excited to introduce the all-new riteSCAN 8. With improved capabilities, the new riteSCAN 8 is a simple, plug-and-play mobile warehouse management software built for SYSPRO users. It is a first step to warehouse automation that takes weeks not months to implement and costs 25% of a full WMS solution. riteSCAN 8’s new web-based product design gives users access to streamlined workflows and new functionality—plus seamless, real-time SYSPRO integration and reliability. riteSCAN 8 was made specifically to improve efficiency, gain visibility, and increase speed and accuracy in your warehouse. 

riteSCAN 8 arrives January 5, but the opportunity to experience it through a demo or free trial is available today! 

riteSCAN can run on any device with a browser

There is no doubt that 2021 has been one for the booksWe’d like to sincerely thank our customers and partners for their loyalty and goodwill throughout the year. We wish you the best for a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year! 

Have questions about the blog?

Our sales & implementation specialists are experts in the field and would love to help you. Contact us to learn more!

Job and employee scheduling got you down?

Job and employee scheduling got you down?

Job and employee scheduling is no easy feat. It requires strong communication on the production floor, transparency between supervisors and team members, and the ability to pivot when production changes arise. And if that’s not enough, all of this must be done in a timely and efficient manner. If you are a supervisor on the production floor, time sheets, job travelers, and spreadsheets may be part of your daily routine. However, paper time sheets could be hurting your business since more mistakes and errors are likely to occur.  

What if you could have one simple system to tell your team what to work on and track time? Learn more about riteTIME’s latest enhancement, visual scheduling.

How did Hexagon Mining achieve incredible results through riteTIME?

How did Hexagon Mining achieve incredible results through riteTIME?

Last week, riteSOFT hosted a webinar in partnership with Umbrella Consulting. The webinar, titled “Why Track Time, Now,” discussed the disruption created by COVID-19; why manufacturers are embracing digital time tracking; and six steps to help you select your next time tracking solution. Most importantly, the webinar highlighted why Hexagon Mining, selected riteSOFT’s riteTIME as their new time tracking solution and the results they have achieved so far. 

riteTIME’s newest customer, Hexagon Mining, has 16 locations around the globe. They manufacture collision avoidance safety devices designed to prevent accidents in the mining industry. The first site implemented with riteTIME was in Tucson, AZ and other new sites will follow soon. 

Hexagon Mining’s Pain Points

Hexagon started vetting time tracking systems after they became overwhelmed with the daunting amount of time they spent collecting time and production data using multiple systems. In fact, Hexagon had one full-time employee whose sole job was to compile data from complex, inefficient spreadsheets to generate reports and then input it into their ERP system. This meant their production data was always several days behind, and they had no visibility into what was happening in real time. This affected their ability to quickly analyze the status of their capacity and production output. This also meant that their job standards were frequently outdated. Not only that, but COVID-19 hit, and the production manager needed the ability to work remotely.  

Reasons for choosing a time tracking solution

“One Easy-to-Use Software System”

After vetting over 50 time tracking solutions, Hexagon discovered that riteTIME was the best fit for their needs. Right after implementing, Hexagon began to instantly see time and production data in real-time using one system that was easy for their operators to use regardless of where they were working. The results? By implementing riteTIME, Hexagon was able to eliminate one full-time data entry position and allocate that employee to another higher value role!  

riteTIME time tracking testimony

How are you Tracking Time on Jobs?

During this live webinar, we asked attendees how they are tracking time on jobs. We received a variety of responses. The majority are either using a paper process or have a time tracking solution but are exploring a new one. How are you tracking time? Is it giving your business the best results? Could your business be getting results like Hexagon Mining? Be sure to watch the webinar recording to learn more about Hexagon’s incredible results and how you can select your next time tracking solution. 

How are you tracking time on jobs today poll question

How to Select Your Next Time Tracking Solution

How to Select Your Next Time Tracking Solution?

Want to take your manufacturing operation to the next level? Be more competitive? Streamline your operation? A new time tracking solution may be what you need! Keep reading to learn about the six things to consider when determining what type of time tracking solution is right for you.

Six Steps to Help You Select Your Next Time Tracking Solution

1. Evaluate your processes and identify your pain points

What issues are slowing you down or disrupting your operation? Do you lack job visibility? Are you still tracking time manually or struggling to keep track of paper time sheets? Want to improve employee performance? Now might be the time to upgrade to a more efficient time tracking solution.

ritetime can solve your pain points for easy time tracking

2. Does your business need a diet?

After evaluating your pain points, you might discover that your business needs a “diet” due to the number of time wasters you found.

man working from home with snacks and cat

Here’s a list of common issues that can create big process inefficiencies and negatively impact your bottom line.

  • Duplicate entry of time clock and job punches, production data, and more.
  • Wasted time looking for lost time sheets or reading messy handwriting.
  • Outdated job standards that negatively influence job costing and your ability to compete.
  • A lack of job or employee visibility without walking around your operation.
  • Delayed reporting due to data lags.
  • Incomplete or incorrect information to make smarter business decisions.
  • Paper processes that reduce efficiency.

Taken collectively, all of the above issues can have a dramatic impact on your long-term business success. Read more about determining if your business needs a diet here.

3. Evaluate software options based on your business needs

Think about your pain points and then consider what key features are most important to you. Determine what type of information you want to track; how quickly you want to get started; and think about your budget for the software and mobile devices. You will also need to decide if you want a plug and play solution or a custom solution designed just for you. Evaluate available options against your key buying criteria and prioritize them based on what is a “must have” versus a “nice-to-have.” Use the list below to jump-start your evaluation process.

  1. What information do you need to track as work happens (e.g., Track Labor, Jobs, production data, etc.)?
  2. Are you required to capture time or production data for compliance requirements, specific government contracts, or pending ISO certification?
  3. Do you need real-time visibility of Jobs and employees for improved performance monitoring on-site or off-site?
  4. Do you want supervisor dashboards and reports that you can easily create yourself?
  5. Is ease of use and ongoing maintenance or support important to you?
  6. What type of devices do you want to use? Do you need mobile capabilities with device flexibility?
  7. How quickly do you want to implement? What resources and team members will be needed to successfully implement the software within your organization to meet your timelines?
  8. Do you need a solution that can be self-administered without an expert?
  9. How important is real-time integration and system compatibility?
  10. What are your budget considerations? (Think about total cost of ownership including: software, hardware, implementation, and support.)

4. Do you require a standard or custom solution?

Another key step in the evaluation process is to determine what type of system you need—a standard, ready-to-use, plug and play software solution or a custom built solution. The advantage to a standard solution is that it is more cost-effective and easier to implement and maintain. On the other hand, custom solutions can be built to your exact needs, but they take longer to implement and are more costly. Standard solutions will typically meet 80% or more of your needs and can often be configured to match your current processes. Do your research. This decision has long-term implications from a maintenance and compatibility perspective.

5. Determine what you want to track with mobile devices

Mobile devices can make time tracking a breeze on-site or off-site. Think about your operation and what you need to track as work happens. Determine what areas of your operation need to track time spent on jobs or tasks or capture production data such as scrap, good quantity, etc. Do you want to:

  • Use touch screen kiosks or tablets to track timeclock punches, job punches, plus work center and production data using the same devices?
  • Scan barcodes or badges to capture job, task, and break punches?
  • Track time for employees working remotely or off-site at a client location?
  • Screen employees for COVID-19?
  • Capture data for job safety audits?
  • Track indirect time such as training, maintenance, and Job setup?

6. Check the features against your key needs

Finally, evaluate the available options based on your most important needs and criteria. Keep in mind what is truly a need versus a want. Some features may be “nice-to-have,” but will they truly be utilized? Will the software be easy for your operators to use on the shop floor? Make sure to consider how easy it is to update the software and your mobile devices on an ongoing basis.

Another important point to consider is integration. Do you need to integrate or share data with another system to eliminate duplicate data entry? If you require integration to another system such as your payroll or ERP system, what are the costs involved? How will the data be exchanged? Is the data exchanged in real time? Additionally, how easy is it to keep your your stationary and mobile devices updated to maintain system compatibility? All of this has an impact on the total cost of ownership which includes the software, hardware, integration, implementation, training, and support costs, as well as future maintenance costs.

Before you make your final purchase decision, find out if you can try out the software before you buy it. This can be a true test of its functionality as well as evaluate the level of support provided by the software vendor.

By following the six steps above, you can pick the right solution that best fits your operation. Time tracking software can help improve efficiency, reduce waste, increase visibility, and help you keep your job standards up-to-date.

Want to sharpen your competitive edge? Contact us today to learn more about time tracking software.

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Managing Your Business Diet for the Long Haul

Managing Your Business Diet for the Long Haul

With every diet, you set a goal, determine the steps you’ll take to attain it, and get to work. And, with enough effort and perseverance, you may eventually hit your goal. The same is true for your business. But what is the real measure of success? Is it when you initially ‘hit the goal’? Or, is it figuring out how to maintain the goal for the long haul?

Tips for Managing Your Business Diet for the Long Haul

Use a Schedule

Times may look different in 2020, but people are still as busy as ever. When life gets chaotic, the first thing to fall off track is usually my diet. But when I schedule my workouts and plan meals, I stay on track. This works for my business too. When my team schedules time to work on specific tasks, their projects are more likely to stay on track with a lot less stress.  

Block Time for MITs

Another benefit of scheduling is efficient time management. When your to-do list is a mile long, every second counts. When I schedule blocks of time for my most important tasks (MITs)—especially those that take hours to complete—I stay focused and get more done. Your team can make every second count too—even when time is limited—by using scheduling software.  

Track Your Progress

Do you remember when I talked about using a food diary? While I like to consider myself accountable, maintaining a food diary quickly highlighted the flaws in my diet. Those extra calories really added up. Scheduling and tracking time are similar. You can’t see how much time is being wasted, or what processes are slowing you down, until you take the time to track what is done throughout the day. Use time tracking software with real-time dashboards and scheduling. It can give you the visibility you need to identify issues and make changes that will help you achieve results for the long haul.

Have you started a ‘business diet’ yet? Now’s the time. Start tracking time to identify ways to improve productivity now and for the long haul!

How to Tell if Your Business Diet is Working

How to Tell if Your Business Diet is Working

If you’ve been following along, you know that I recently started a food diary. Working from home was wreaking havoc on my diet. I realized that tracking what I consumed and how I ‘spent’ my calories was the reality check that I needed. The same can be true for your business. Tracking activities can help jump start your business diet, but how do you know if your diet is working?

Check your ‘diary’

Greater Accountability

I have reached for more than one unhealthy snack since I started my food diary. But, keeping track of what I eat keeps me focused on my priorities. The same mindset applies to your business. When you and your team write down how you spend your time, it holds you accountable and keeps you on track.

Greater Accuracy

One of the big benefits of a diary is that it gives you a more accurate reflection of your daily activities. When you track your business activities in real time—instead of relying on job or task estimates after the fact—the data is more accurate. It becomes easy to discover where your ‘wasted calories’ are coming from. Plus, you’re less likely to forget that extra ‘time snack.’ Five extra minutes might not seem like much, but it really adds up over time!

Use Your Data

A big challenge with most ‘diets’ is knowing what works. Are you seeing changes? Do the changes align with your priorities? A simple way to measure progress is to use a dashboard. It helps you see where you can improve team performance and productivity. Plus, the adjustments you make will be based on facts instead of guesswork or out-of-date job standards.

Compare Performance

When I started my food diary, I needed a little bit of extra motivation. So, I teamed up with my neighbor to track our performance together! Use your data-driven dashboards to compare team performance and generate a little friendly competition. This will drive accountability and generate performance improvements.

Stick with it. Watch your dashboard to identify opportunities for improvement and and make adjustments accordingly. You’ll be seeing results in no time.

tips and tricks to trimming up your business diet

Does your business need a diet?

Does your business need a diet?

When I got dressed last week, I learned the truth. Too many trips to the refrigerator for snacks while working from home has made me—and my cat—gain a few pounds. I knew it was time to make some changes in my daily routine. As a small business owner, this made me stop and think. How do you know when your business needs a diet and where the extra “calories” are coming from?

Start a “food” diary

These days, it is easy to eat too much. I started tracking what I eat, the amount of exercise I get, and my weight. This lets me see the overall impact of my routine. The same can be true for your business. People operate differently when they see the bigger picture and the impact of how their time is spent. Have your team start tracking time. Think of it as a food diary. It will help identify where the extra “calories” are coming from.

Skip the paper; use an App

I quickly discovered that I kept losing my food diary. It was never where I needed it, and I kept forgetting what I ate. The same is likely true for your team and paper time sheets. Skip the frustration. Use a simple time tracking App. Your team will never lose it; and better yet, time can be accurately tracked as work happens on or off-site.

Make changes and see the results

My food diary shows that I love chicken wings. I cut back and started spending more time on my bike. I’m starting to see results. Your team’s “food diary” will capture where time is spent, track productivity, and help you pinpoint problem areas to address.

ideas to have heatlhy habits for yourself and your business when working remotely
Start a "food diary." You'll be seeing results in no time.